It seems like every summer, we start off thinking “Maybe the mosquitoes won’t be bad this year”. Then comes July and it seems like we can’t even enjoy our backyards or a walk in the park without coming back with battle scars from those pesky pests.
You’ve probably wondered why mosquitoes drink blood – can’t they just leave us alone? In the world of mosquitoes, male and female mosquitoes look mostly the same, but males are strictly vegetarian. The reason why only female mosquitoes drink blood is so that they can nourish their child-bearing bodies.
Blood is full of proteins and amino acids, which makes it the perfect prenatal supplement for growing mosquito eggs, which is why only female mosquitoes drink blood. When female mosquitoes aren’t drinking your blood, they eat plant nectar just like their male counterparts.
In a nutshell, your blood is fueling the next generation of mosquitoes. It’s sad (and a bit gross) but true!
The Perfect Prey
Studies have shown that female mosquitoes have a few preferences when it comes to choosing the perfect human to drink from.
- Blood Type O – A majority of humans release a chemical through their skin that indicates their blood type. Mosquitoes have the ability to detect this, and studies have shown that mosquitoes prefer Type O blood over A or B types (Stromberg, J., 2013 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/).
- Exercise, Sweat, and High Body Temperature – Imagine being outside cutting the grass or hiking out in the woods. Your body temperature is rising and you’re sweating more and more. The buildup of lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia, all found in sweat, are strong attractants to mosquitos (Stromberg, J., 2013 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/).
- Pregnancy – The cycle of life can be a bit strange, and according to the study, female mosquitos like a pregnant woman’s blood to feed their own growing babies (Stromberg, J., 2013 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/).
Most female mosquitos only drink blood during the early morning and during sunset, as they seek shelter during the hottest parts of the day. However, Asian Tiger mosquitos will hunt all day, and disturbing a mosquito’s nest will prompt them to go after your tasty blood!
If you want a proven method to rid your yard of mosquitos by up to 95 percent and stop the next generation of mosquitos, DC Mosquito Squad is equipped with the tools and experience to get the job done. Our trained technicians will spray a mosquito-killing barrier every 21 days.